Union gets $6.6M in bonds for graduate college

Union Graduate College will move ahead with plans to construct a new classroom building at Liberty S

Union Graduate College will move ahead with plans to construct a new classroom building at Liberty Street and Nott Terrace after receiving up to $6.6 million in bonds Wednesday from the city of Schenectady Industrial Development Agency.

Union College proposes to build a three-story, 24,000-square-foot building on a site formerly occupied by a Sunoco gas station at Liberty Street and Nott Terrace. The property lies between the Holiday Inn and Friendly’s Restaurant.

Union Graduate College currently leases space office space from Union College on its campus. It will buy the Liberty Street property from Picotte Companies.

The graduate college expects to spend up to $9 million to construct the building. It has already secured $1 million from state Sen. Hugh T. Farley, $1 million from the state and $300,000 from U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. The college is also conducting a fund-raising campaign.

Ground breaking is scheduled for mid-2008 and construction about several months. The structure will house up to three classrooms, a computer lab, student areas and faculty offices, said John Huppertz, interim president of Union Graduate College.

“We are every happy with the site, it’s close to the Union College campus,” Huppertz said.

In five to seven years, the graduate college would like to expand the new building to accommodate additional classrooms, Huppertz said. In the meantime, the graduate college will continue to lease extra classroom space from Union College.

The new graduate college building will house 500 students and 70 teachers within walking distance of downtown.

The city IDA bonds are tax-exempt and Union will repay them in full, said Metroplex Development Authority Chairman Ray Gillen. Metroplex administers the city IDA.

“There will be no financial exposure for the city or the IDA,” Gillen said.

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